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A New Plan of Action: What I’m Doing to Cure my PCOS

A little back story: I was diagnosed with PCOS in October. You can read all about that story HERE and HERE.

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My last update was about 2 months ago. That, coupled with some new plans o’ action I’m taking after seeing a naturopathic doctor in Boulder compelled me to post another update.

Meeting my Naturopath

Last Tuesday, I spent about two hours with Dr. Neal. After being greeted with hot tea and a cozy office room, I opened up to her. I told her about my history and backstory. I told her everything I’ve researched so far. I told her probably way more than I needed to know.

She told me her dad was from Normal. It’s a small, small world! Don’t worry, she told me more than that Winking smile

Diagnosis

Dr. Neal specializes in female hormone issues and PCOS, and after processing all of my verbal verbal vomit, she immediately came up with a plan of attack. However, I was elated and relieved to hear her say this:

Yes, you have PCOS (for all of those who have emailed me saying it’s something else – I promise it’s PCOS.) But you don’t have severe PCOS. You don’t have any of the external (facial hair, deep voice, hair loss, acne etc) symptoms, and your hormone panels don’t look that out of balance. We just need to flush out some of those extra hormones and get your cycle back in order. And I am confident that we can get you there.

Yes, I already knew I had PCOS, but I had absolutely no idea how bad my case of it was. I’m so relieved to know it’s not that bad.

Plan of Attack

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With that, we went over my prognosis. With PCOS and the endocrine system, Dr. Neal explained that three different components can be out of wack: the thyroid, adrenals, and the hormones. We left my thyroid out of the equation entirely. My thyroid is golden. The problem lies within my adrenals and hormones. She said that she thinks my adrenals are a little stressed, thusly, my hormones aren’t getting detoxified in the manner they should.

Thusly, I now have a whole new regimen of pills and practices to partake:

Food Supplements

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Dr. Neal has me on a 30 day cycle where I alternate different seeds. Right now I’m on pumpkin seeds, but the others I alternate on different times of the month include flax seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds. This has to do with hormones during certain times throughout the cycle and the omega 3 and 6 content in the specific seeds.

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Sure, I’ll play.

Oils

Additionally, I also will be taking two different oils – cod liver oil and primrose oil. I’ll take one one half of the month, and the other the second half.

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This stuff tastes nast, but is apparently magical.

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I haven’t tried the primrose oil yet, but they’re capsules.

Vitamins

Along with the supplements above, I’ll be taking two vitamins: a B complex and Biotone EFA, which heals the adrenals and is supposed to help give me better sleep quality.

And of course– the potion I mentioned in last week’s post:

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This is eleuthero/siberian ginseing, which I’m supposed to mix in warm water and drink as a tea every morning. It supports the adrenal glands as well. I actually like the taste of this one – it tastes like licorice!

Homeopathies

She’s also having me take 3 different homeopathics before brushing my teeth. I already forgot exactly what they are, but I’m putting drops of each beneath my tongue before brushing my teeth, and they taste horrible. They support liver, adrenals, and female hormones…I think.

Diet/Lifestyle

When Dr. Neal asked about my current diet, she said it was perfect for PCOS, and she said, “so you eat paleo?”

Well, not exactly. I eat paleo for the most part, but I also eat dairy when I want, drink alcohol when I want, and eat some gluten free stuff that’s not really paleo, I said. I told her being strictly paleo would stress me out too much.

Luckily, Dr. Neal said that’s fine. She’d rather keep my stress as low as possible, and that as long as I stuck with gluten free, that’d be fine. Sounds good to me!

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But here’s where I made a face. When she then said:

“However, I do want you to decrease your alcohol to 1-2 times per week and your coffee to 1 small cup a day.”

I’m not an alki, but I do like to have a glass of wine or a gluten free beer most nights. I can definitely live with 1-2 nights per week, though, if it’s going to help my progress.

As for the coffee thing, she actually would rather have me eliminate it, but we settled on one small cup a day. Note that my tea consumption has increased dramatically Winking smile

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I love it all – especially this Twinnings Orange & Cinnamon Spice as well as basically any flavor by Yogi. Gimme gimme.

Other notes:

-drink half my body weight in water, with electrolytes

-don’t let myself get way too hungry in between meals

-don’t add any exercise to my current routine (strength and cardio 3 days/week, yoga 2-3 days/week, dog walking)

Other

The last thing Dr. Neal is having me do is Castor Oil Packs:

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Basically, every night (every week night is fine) I put castor oil on the skin directly over my liver and place heat over it while I read before bed – about 30 minutes. It’s supposed to help to flush out the liver.

Prayer

Ok, maybe Dr. Neal didn’t prescribe this method of treatment, but it’s actually my # 1 method. I’ve got several people praying for me, and I know in the end it’s in God’s hands, so I’ll be juuuuust fine Smile

So there you have it! My plan of attack for healing PCOS.

Any questions?

Have you ever tried naturopathic medicine or remedies for any health issues of your own?

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Comments

  1. Glad to hear you have a plan. I have heard of many of things you have been prescibed too. I know for me PCOS was a wrong dx, and it had more to do with a low body weight and over exercising, therefore causing a energy imbalance so I am thrilled to hear yours is a mild case of PCOS. With your plan and diet I know you will get everything back on track. Thinking of you :)
    Lindsey recently posted..Secret IngredientMy Profile

  2. I’m so proud of you! I think you’re handling this all really well. Keep up the good work…I’m sure everything will be back to normal in no time! ;)
    Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries recently posted..Week 29: Expecting MoreMy Profile

  3. this sounds like a GREAT POA! i’ve been listening to Balanced Bites podcasts a lot and they’re huge advocates of cod liver oil – it sounds like a nasty mo-fo but it supposedly works wonders! I have enough time remembering to take my omega-3 supps so I give you major props with remembering to take everything! Keep us posted and it looks like you had a BLAST this weekend!
    juliegolean recently posted..box insecurities & this week’s menuMy Profile

  4. I’m sorry you’re going through this and hope you find relief as soon as possible!
    Kacy recently posted..Comment on Eatin’ & Drinkin’ – Sette Osteria and Afterwords Cafe by Parita @ myinnershaktiMy Profile

  5. I think it’s pretty amazing that you are so proactive and on top of this. Sometimes I am not always gung-ho (that was weird) to schedule doctors appointments, but I know they’re so necessary. Way to go!
    Lindsay recently posted..i’m lookin’ at you, monday.My Profile

  6. So glad to read there’s a plan of action! Sounds like you have a great naturopath. I saw one over the summer and loved her, but then she had a baby and my next follow up appt got moved out 4 months. Um….no. Now I need to search for a new one.

  7. I happened to stumble upon your blog just as I was going through a PCOS diagnosis myself. It really helps to see how other women are handling it–especially someone as positive as you who is looking to heal naturally. I went to a naturopath last week and it sounds like our treatment plans are pretty similar (I have mild PCOS as well). My prescribed plan of action is a reduced carb/ Paleo-type diet and supplements to reverse insulin resistance as well as a few different homeopathic concoctions for adrenal and endocrine support. I’m excited to see how you progress and wish you the very best.
    Janna @ RantingRose recently posted..6 Reasons Why an Increased Fat & Reduced Carb Diet Can Improve HealthMy Profile

  8. How interesting. I love naturopath doctors and the approach they take to solving without medicine. I so happy to learn more about your journey. It sounds like you are doing great!
    Danielle (@CleanFoodCreativeFitness) recently posted..Thin Mint Cookies (Gluten and Egg Free)My Profile

  9. So interesting to read her recommendations! I started taking cod liver oil a few weeks ago – so far, so good. I never drank coffee that much to begin with, but I cut it out completely over the past two months. I’ve had coffee twice this month, and both times it left me feeling super bloated and sick. I will stick to my tea!

    It’s interesting that she encouraged you to make so many changes at once. Surely that would make it hard to know what’s responsible for restoring your hormonal health?
    Tara @ Sweat like a Pig recently posted..Just a numberMy Profile

    • Maybe? Honestly I have no idea. I didn’t come across much in the way of homeopathic treatment in my own research. However, I know when it comes to skincare or workout programs, I like to apply the principle of not changing up SO many things so you can tell where the results come from. She was pretty confident it would work, though!

  10. Hi there! This post is so helpful and informative. I’m in a similar situation as you and I had a question. How do you find a good Naturopath in the area? I googled it but how do I know who’s legit? Not sure if you have an answer for this but I thought I’d ask!

    • I think I’m lucky in that there are lots of highly qualified naturopaths in Boulder. When I was in Normal? I wasn’t so lucky…

  11. I am so glad your doctor sounds so awesome! I went to the naturopathic doctor for my anxiety and stomach aches I used to give myself from it. It helped me a little but not entirely what I was hoping for.
    Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots recently posted..Life lessons from a 25 year oldMy Profile

  12. I love this!! You will love the castor oil packs. The help me so much. I REALLY need to e-mail you!!
    Brittany @ Delights and Delectables recently posted..Currently…My Profile

  13. I have JUST heard about this cycle seed thing… there was a post on Bonzai Aphrodite about it the other day (http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/2013/01/facing-failing-health-on-a-vegan-diet/), I am greatly intrigued by it. She said that her period came back (after years of nothing) within a matter of weeks. I am slowly getting back on track with my hormone function, I firmly believe it is due to healling foods. Getting back to warming foods (more warm salads than cold), getting more good fat/omega 3’s in my diet and adding more foods containing protein. It’s no small feat when I’ve transitioned to vegan (and am Celiac), but I’m doing much better.

    I also found that I have a bit of a blood deficiency (according to TCM), so I’ve been concentrating on getting more plant-based iron, such as adding molasses to my hot cereals, etc, and way more leafy greens.

    We’re a lot alike, I was diagnosed with PCOS a few months ago, but don’t have many of the external symptoms. I do have the acne and the lack of periods. I have been taking a tincture (includes a number of herbs such as coleus, chaste berry, etc), and started taking B complex as well, and getting more probiotics in my meals. I have noticed a huge difference, and look forward to seeing more results.

    This is SO comforting to know that this is treatable isn’t it?! The bonus is really finding out what our bodies need. I have been trying to keep my stress levels down as well, trying not to over-exercise, and get enough sleep. Not an easy balance sometimes but I’m getting there!

    I’m so happy that you are getting the amazing support that you need. I adore my naturopath, it makes a huge difference :)
    Christa @ Edible Balance recently posted..Simple things… bringing back the joyMy Profile

  14. happy to read this post and learn how you are taking care of yourself! love you!
    janetha recently posted..from pin to post: cabbage soup.My Profile

  15. and yes, the diagnosis of prayer… my relationship with God, until just recently, had been put on the back burner for far too long. Spending time to meet with Him and meditate on His word has been incredibly encouraging. I know that whatever comes my way, He will bring me through it. His promise never fails and that is where my hope lies.
    Christa @ Edible Balance recently posted..Simple things… bringing back the joyMy Profile

  16. don’t worry friend, i’ll make up the wine for you. And at least you can still have it 1-2 a week. That’s good! What about kombucha? that should be your new cocktail, yes? thinking and praying for YOU! I feel like this is gonna work!
    cottercrunch recently posted..How to Break the FastMy Profile

  17. That is a lot of detail, but I’m so happy to hear you are tackling this and you’re going to overcome it! At least you can still drink 1-2 x a week, not so bad! I’m glad the experience with your naturopath went by swimmingly! I have learned a lot from mine too, and it’s been a good thing so far!

  18. I’m really glad that you went to a naturopath. I think that’s awesome! So many people want some sort of quick fix or magic pill, when you can make changes in your diet and lifestyle and see amazing differences in your health!
    I went to a nutritionist/holistic doctor a few years ago with some issues I was having. She put me on a ton of supplements and I had to follow a gluten-free, caffeine- free, seafood-free (because I had high levels of mercury) for 3 months. It SUCKED. It didn’t help me at all- I was just bitter and tired. But, i really think that just wasn’t what I needed. So many docs say “gluten free” first thing, and for me, I feel so much better when I DO eat gluten, and follow a mostly vegan diet.
    But, I won’t label myself as anything. Labels (especially the word Paleo) make me cringe. I hope that you feel better, but are able to put a little more alcohol and coffee back into your diet.
    (Can you have decaf?) xoxo
    Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning recently posted..Busy Weekend RecapMy Profile

  19. I started seeing a chiropractor a month or so ago and he has severely helped my migraines and daily headaches. We’re also working to help control my asthma, stomach and lady issues – it’s been amazing and I can’t wait to see the way it progresses!
    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More recently posted..Lance vs. OprahMy Profile

  20. I believe in alternative medicine used in conjunction with western medicine. Sounds like you have a GREAT plan of action. You are so pro active :) its motivating!

  21. It is amazing how much of a difference just believing in your treatment can make.

  22. So interesting! Excited to follow along with your journey :)
    Meg recently posted..01/23: WIAW and Three New Recipes!My Profile

  23. Paige- Thank you for sharing your story! I too have used a Naturopath and the castor oil packs work. Trust me I did two rounds of them for 3 days straight. One thing to note, the oil does take some scrubbing to come off. I immediately took a warm shower after the treatments. Best of luck to you in this journey- i’m sure you’ll do great.

  24. I can’t wait to catch up with you and talk about all of this IN PERSON! Hopefully this weekend :)

  25. This was really, really interesting and thought-provoking. I’m new to the blog, and I went back and read your previous posts about PCOS. I’ve been having some issues medical issues lately, and my doctor is doing the “slap a Band-aid on it” method. I’m definitely going to research this further.
    Natalie @ Free Range Human recently posted..WIAW: Super Sweet!My Profile

  26. WOW thats alot of work BUT it will be worth it once your cycle is regulated. There is nothing better than getting it back to normal :) Praying!

  27. Hope you get results from your new plan!

Trackbacks

  1. […] If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know about the changes I’ve made to my diet fairly recently. for the past few months, I’ve been following a paleo-ish diet (but I’m FAR from strict…hello chips and salsa and beer!) In order to get my PCOS in control, I’ve been following a high protein, low sugar diet. I’ve also cut out gluten, and have drastically increased my intake of healthy fats  – this is not only what my body needs right now, but also helps keep me incredibly satiated. (You can read my latest update here.) […]

  2. […] Surprise, surprise, he told me to avoid grains for 2 weeks, and then gluten forever. So I did. I gave up gluten (and most grains) in an effort to get my cycle back for the better part of a […]

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